We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

We can tell when it’s politics being talked about for the solution to a current problem is always whatever it was that the person wanted to do anyway. If the economy’s growing then we must reduce inequality, if the economy is shrinking then we must reduce inequality and when the Sun rises in the east we must reduce inequality.

Tim Worstall, modestly suggesting we need to sacrifice a few more virgins to the NHS

Things that make you go “Mmmm…”

Whilst I would hardly describe Sweden as a bastion of civil liberty, when one looks at the place in 2020, the justification for a great many things in a great many other nations starts to look increasingly hard to credit.

Samizdata quote of the day

One might imagine that civil liberties organisations would have something to say about the authoritarian groupthink creeping from the leftist fringes of British politics. But amidst the predictable statements in support of Black Lives Matter it seems Liberty’s central campaign is the possible infringement of rights posed by facial recognition software, rather than the real and present threat to livelihoods and liberty of those with heterodox opinions. Indeed, earlier this year Liberty, Amnesty International UK and Human Rights Watch signed a joint statement arguing that ‘dehumanising discussions and ‘debates’ lead to human rights abuses.’ One wonders how an organisation like Liberty, which claims to ‘challenge injustice, defend freedom and campaign to make sure everyone in the UK is treated fairly’ can fulfil these laudable aims without free and open debate.

Josephine Bartosch

Samizdata quote of the day

Take the roiling absurdity outside America since the death of George Floyd. What does the death of a foreigner killed by a foreign policeman in a foreign land say about the state of Britain? The facts of the Home Office’s homicide index are clear enough. Between April 2016 and March 2019, 500 whites, 45 blacks and 38 others were convicted in England and Wales of murdering 583 white victims.

Over the same period, 81 blacks, 11 whites and nine others were convicted of murdering 101 black victims. Roughly 3 per cent of Britons are black. The idea that there is a racial tsunami of murder in this country is monstrous, let alone — “hands up! don’t shoot!” — one waged by our unarmed police. We are being asked to fight against a fantasy.

The Critic Magazine

Might I suggest people subscribe to this new very high quality magazine, a fine antidote to the debased opinion makers of yore.

Samizdata quote of the day

Cut off by your gas company for wrongthink? What’s stopping you drilling your own North Sea well?

– Tim Newman, nicely describing why certain strains of libertarian thought are self-defeating.

Nameless remarks on a private forum…

1. I’m fairly convinced at this point that anything I say can be interpreted as racist and staying silent is also racist.

2. Race, on the other hand, is a terrible idea that the woke children wish to set in stone instead of getting rid of. That’s not to claim that genetic ancestry has no impact on people’s health etc., only that skin color should be no more meaningful than hair color, but expressing such an ideal these days will get you canceled by those who claim to fight bigotry.

3. There is an immense amount of actual racism in the world. Which is not good enough since that can be dealt with, if not easily, at least rationally. So virtual racism is the omnipresent threat the revolution needs.

That makes it all so poignant to me is the people who wrote these things have jobs and do not feel they can speak openly. Anyone who thinks there is no culture war going on is simply wrong.

Samizdata quote of the day

The college kids thousands of dollars or pounds in debt with a gender studies degree, are the equivalent of the younger sons of Norman lords who were never going to inherit land and had nothing to do but foment rebellion and war

Ed West

The Great Unfollowing…

A man in Minneapolis was asphyxiated by a policeman, all the while with bystanders pleading with said cop to let the man breathe. Yes, I know the victim had past convictions and was being arrested as a suspect in another crime, but so what? He was effectively tortured to death in a street, slowly over nine minutes, whilst intermittently begging for his life when he could actually speak. The whole ghastly incident was captured on video by bystanders; an open and shut case of grotesque police brutality, no doubt about that.

This incident soon leads to riots and looting, ‘Antifa’ & other assorted political scavengers and opportunist thugs using this egregious crime as an excuse, and it all kicks off nationwide. At the time of writing, many American neighbourhoods are in the process of being trashed, including many largely black ones (not that it should make any difference whose neighbourhood is being looted and burned). This is an American tragedy, the whole thing, no doubt about that either.

Now we all have differing interests and it is unreasonable to expect everyone else to share our own particular obsessions. I am British, and for all the problems we have in Britain, the police here very rarely kill people. And whilst race relation can be fraught at times, UK lacks the all consuming obsession with race that poisons discourse in the USA, despite constant attempts by advocate of identity politics to import such sensibilities here.

And so, whilst I found this crime appalling, I saw no reason for the death of one man somewhere in the USA to dominate the headlines in Britain, particularly as widespread police brutality in France scarcely gets reported at all. Likewise, police violence in Hong Kong is also greatly underreported (albeit a bit better than official thuggery France). But if all you watch is the BBC, you might be forgiven for thinking the only places violence happens is in America and Palestine.

Being British, goings on in France are of concern to me, what with them being the place I get my claret from and our nearest major neighbour (sorry Ireland, it’s a size thing). Likewise, Britain has long historical links to Hong Kong, given ours was the nation that signed the treaty with China, turning the place over to Peking under the ‘One Nation Two Systems’ doctrine.

Those are my interests. And if you do not share them, well okay.

Then I turn on the stupid screen and behold a large pustule of iPhone wielding bourgeoise leftists gathering in Britain to protest what happened in America (the murder, not the riots, naturally). Do they march on the US Embassy? No, of course not, they assemble in Trafalgar Square and then shamble past Downing Street to scream at the Metropolitan Police, as if the local Plod are culpable for some psycho cop strangling George Floyd to death on the other side of the fuckin’ Atlantic.

Okay, I get it now. This is not really about police brutality in another country, it is a certain sociopolitical ilk of people, tearful that Dom Cummings and Boris don’t give a damn what they want, and bored by the Wuhan coronavirus lockdown. This is about having a nice day out in the sun, emoting their virtue and then posting it on Instagram. Were they chanting for the battered, crippled and dead students in Hong Kong? Do they give a flying fuck about some Gilets Jaunes getting the living shit beaten out of them in France? How about Spanish riot cops putting the boot in to separatists in Barcelona? Nah.

Fine, like I said, we all have our own obsessions, but I hope such folk marching in London, Berlin and Amsterdam understand why I think their public concern for what a man’s murder in Minneapolis represents is daft posturing, basically cosplay.

Then I scroll through Instagram, which for me at least is for pictures of food, cocktails, holiday snaps, cats and fit babes-in-bikinis. How odd, I see a hitherto non-political photographer in France has posted a solid black graphic, a blackout in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter. Sigh. Unfollow.

And a rather fetching model in Prague has done the same, along with an incoherent something something racism platitude. Unfollow. Trendy furniture designer in Dublin whose work I quite like, they have just posted a black square. Unfollow. Italian actress, black square. Unfollow. Unfollow. Unfollow. Unfollow. I have probably unfollowed a hundred people today thus far, not kidding, and the day is still young. Seriously, just fuck off.

Perhaps ironically (or perhaps not), I have not unfollowed a number of commentators on both ‘left’ and ‘right’ who frequently discuss such topics, even though they felt the need to post black squares. It is not the topic itself that annoys me, I have written rather a lot about civil rights myself over the years, it is the sheer fashionable vacuous insincerity of it all.

The Great Unfollowing continues 😐

Britain should open her doors to Hong Kongers looking to flee China’s overreach

Hong Kongers are some of the most educated and entrepreneurial people in the world, so even folk who depreciate immigration from the Third World should be able to get behind this idea, given Hong Kong is very much First World.

I rather doubt Hong Kongers (Hong Kong GDP/capita = $49,334, UK GDP/capita = $42,976) are not going to be competing with poor British people for council houses.

L’affaire Cummings

Please. Stop acting like this Dominic Cummings farrago is actually about “what Dom Cummings did within the context of Wuhan Coronavirus in the UK”.

It ain’t.

Almost everything in UK media & politics makes perfect sense when viewed through the lens of Brexit, and that will be true until 1st January 2021.

Cummings is usually described as ‘hard line’ on the recommendations he gives regarding Brexit. It is obvious that the Cummings lynch mobs are really only interested in ‘salvaging’ some kind BRINO from the ‘catastrophe’ of Brexit.

In spite of coronavirus, it is still actually Brexit that really still drives everything in UK. Everyone worldwide is going to try and use coronavirus to leverage their preexisting political objectives, and UK is no exception. Normal politics will resume next year.

The lasting impact of Wuhan coronavirus will be geopolitical

The report findings come as a group of Conservative MPs in the UK have written to the Trade Secretary to say that they plan to amend the Trade Bill currently before Parliament to legally require the Government to reduce strategic dependency on China. The letter — which cites the HJS report — is signed by 21 MPs including David Davis, Iain Duncan Smith, and Owen Paterson.

Click the link, read the report, interesting stuff.

Wuhan coronavirus, in terms of foreign political fallout for the Chinese Communist Party globally, is like Chernobyl was for the Soviet Communist Party, but multiplied by twenty.

Samizdata quote of the day

To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.

– Frederick Douglass